On Saturday night I found myself after dark, hiking through a long snow filled pathway in the woods. It was about minus 10 degrees but felt like minus 15 with a wind whipping through the trees. The snow was deep, up to my knees in places, and I remember cursing because I hadn’t thought to bring gators for my boots. Luckily I was wearing thick corduroy pants and the snow wasn’t getting into my boots and short socks.
Why would I do such a thing on a cold dark evening when I should be sitting in front of a roaring fire wrapped in a quilt with a good book? I do it because I am Canadian and was going to a party. See, this is what Canadians do for fun on the weekends: they hike through snow to sit around a fire, complain about how cold our feet are, and drink mulled wine or beer.
The party was the Guy Fawkes Bonfire — a yearly tradition for many around the world. And, I wasn’t alone at this party: there were about a hundred other Canadians warming their butts by the fire and complaining of how cold their feet were (read: those who weren’t wearing a “beer jacket” were complaining). In contrast, once the actual bonfire started, people were stripping down to t-shirts because alas it was too hot.
Entertainment included jousting, stick fighting, musicians, snowball fights, snow angels, fireworks and outdoor camping. There were lots of people stumbling around, falling in the snow; kids playing on the swings in their parkas, one mitten or boot lost; some had plastic bags on their feet to keep their socks dry.
This was pretty much a typical Canadian winter party. And, as one person stated: “A good time was had by all.”